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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully uplifting!!
This film is wonderful! After seeing Sukurov's Mother and Son at the cinema and hating every bum numbing minute of it, I was reluctant to see this and approached it with some trepidation. However, this film contains so much emotion I was glued to the screen. The two lead actors, the father and son of the title inhabit an emotionally intense world which is exclusive to the...
Published on 10 Dec 2004 by DM Webster

versus
13 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yaaawwwnnnn ...
This is a unique film. It is the only film I have ever seen that I was unable to understand from beginning to end. The intensely homoerotic father/son relationship leaves you cold because it has no context in time or space. Yes, it's left intentionally floaty and dreamlike, but this gives nothing for the viewer to hold on to. There are endless scenes of the pair...
Published on 30 Jan 2006 by J. A. Garlick


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully uplifting!!, 10 Dec 2004
By 
DM Webster "arakis2002" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
This film is wonderful! After seeing Sukurov's Mother and Son at the cinema and hating every bum numbing minute of it, I was reluctant to see this and approached it with some trepidation. However, this film contains so much emotion I was glued to the screen. The two lead actors, the father and son of the title inhabit an emotionally intense world which is exclusive to the formation of any other relationship. People drift in and out of their world but are pushed away. The elements of homoeroticism are intentional and beautifully filmed. In a lesser director's hand they could be clumsy and seedy but Sukorov approaches them with the same painterly quality as when he films locations- the bodies become objects. There's a lot of looking and thinkinig in this film. There's no answers, no solutions but I felt uplifted by the end. This is a film that shouild be bought because there is so much in it that it demands a second viewing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A male-beauty-warp., 4 Jan 2010
This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
I gather 'Father And Son' to be multi-layered. There's the cinematic-artistic point of view; the emotional angle, ig; father's love of lost wife projected on son, while son prepares himself to leave home to join the army; and the mutual-sharing-of-love-between-two-gorgeous-looking-men-subject. I bought FAS for the latter and, though it may sound corny, it turned out to be a feast for my eyes. No cheap thrills, mind, but a very artful display of tenderness, understanding and platonic love. One can read homo-erotism into the film, but I can't imagine director Aleksander Sokoerov had set out to produce a metaphore for a gay themed movie. Any Russian film board would have put paid to that, as Russians take a rather grim view on homosexuality. Nevertheless I consider FAS to be an artefact of the highest calibre due to the sensitive portrayal of a deeply emotional and content relationship between two men.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nostalghia for childhood, 26 April 2005
By 
Mr. N. Coombs (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
I have not seen all or even most of Sokurov's films, but enough to notice what makes this film like his others: the painterly aesthetic, flattened space, unspoken spiritual relationships. What makes this unlike his earlier masterpiece Mother and Son is the absence of time, by that I mean real cinematic time. The 'time' that dragged shots out for eternity in Mother and Son and became absolute in the single take production Russian Ark. The result is that this film has quite a different feel to some of his earlier work such as Confession, Second Circle etc..
This is in many ways his warmest film and his most personal. The detached spiritual distance of his other work, where he is often suspended god-like as a floating inquisitive voice is almost completely absent, and he takes his camera closer this time than ever before. The detail with which he furnishes the flat of the 'father and son' is detailed and their lives full of the mundane rituals of real life: eating, sleeping, weight lifting and minor fights.
That said, this is a Sokurov film, so ambiguity is a foregone conclusion. Amongst these are the similarity in age between the father and son and the uncertainty of time or location. It would be easy to imagine this set in the thirties of forties if it were not for the computer on the son's desk. Likewise, the beautiful Spanish setting of the rooftops and city are not placeable and take on a dreamlike quality. In many ways, since the film is shot from the point of view of the son, the film feels like a children's film; its saturated colours and sense of wonder at the world outside the domestic enclave re-enforce this impression. I can imagine certain precocious children connecting to the film easier than most adults.
The problem, and the film is not perfect so it needs to be stated, is that the actors are simply not up to the task Sokurov sets them. The son does a reasonable job, but the father seems to have been picked more for his looks and muscled physique than anything else. For a film demanding a spiritual relationship portrayed in limbo within the mundanities of everyday life, the actor is simply not up to the job. Which is a shame, the film occasionally sparkles, and in the final dream sequence where the father walks on to the rooftops to find it covered in snow, and the sea frozen into an ice-sheet, the effect is devastating. He pulls his camera back, a disembodied voice speaks to the father and Sokurov's natural style re-asserts itself, and within a minute you feel like crying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A Father's Love Crucifies ...", 3 May 2012
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
I'm still in two minds about Sokurov's films. His `Father and Son' of 2003 leads me to be more positive about him, but I need to explore more of his oeuvre. (At the time of writing, his 2011 Cannes success `Faust' has yet - it seems - to get a UK distributor.)

"A father's love crucifies; a loving son lets himself be crucified." These words are said twice. `Father and Son' is a strange, dreamy film. One can see how the opening has been viewed (wrongly, according to the director) in homo-erotic terms, as the son in his father's arms awakes from a nightmare.

But with no mother in sight throughout the film, the assumption is that father and son have had a close bond in their lives that is now threatened by a sense of fear and anxiety due to the son having to leave at some imminent point. (The son is in the army and also has eyes on a girl.)

So much in the film is left unsaid: it often consists of dreamy disjunctions accompanied by morose music in the vein of Tchaikovsky. Yet the film is suffused with a beautiful rose and sepia glow, and this is often contrasted with a bleached grey-green-blue. The photography is beautifully constructed and framed.

Sokurov has been compared with the great Tarkovsky, and this film reflects the latter's approach in that it requires patience. There is a timelessness, of course, in both the subject matter and its portrayal. Tarkovsky's reflection is also seen in the film's focus on mirrors and windows.

Despite the blurb on the cover, the film does not come with any production notes. However, the extras include filmographies and a short ten-minute film from 1995 in the same vein and called `A Soldier's Dream'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Poetic, dream-like and visually prominent...", 7 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
Russian screenwriter and director Alexandr Sokurov`s twelfth feature film, his second film in a planned trilogy about human relations which was preceded by "Mother and Son" (1997), was shot on locations in Lisbon, Portugal and St. Petersburg, Russia and is a French, Russian and German co-production which was written by Russian screenwriter Sergey Potepalov. It tells the story about a middle-aged father who has been forced to retire and transferred from the military where he was involved in military actions. He now lives in a rooftop apartment with his young son who is about to enter the military. Though seemingly happy he is deeply troubled by his memories of his wife who died at a young age. His unexperienced and ardent son worships him and strives for his attention and affection, but every time the father looks at his son, he sees the face of his everlasting love, the mother of his son.

This slow-paced and distinctly directed film about a close to ethereal relationship between a father and a son during a summer, is a poetic, dream-like and visually prominent drama which examines themes like coming-of-age, family relations, love, grief and reconciliation. Marked and reinforced by its fine and colorful cinematography by the directors frequent collaborator Alexander Burov and the production design by Nataliya Kochergina where the use of light becomes a character in itself, this humane parable literally paints a romantic, reflective and nostalgic portrayal of a heartbroken man who hangs on to feelings from the past which attaches him to his son who rejuvenates these feelings, but also prevents him from being the father his son, who is not ready to cut loose from his father, wants him to be.

As in Alexandr Sokurov`s "Mother and Son" (1997), the use of sound increases the films emotional gravity, the atmosphere has a significant presence and the depiction of the relationship between the two main characters is very intimate and has a rare emotional depth. An artful, timeless and compassionate film with unrestrained acting performances by non-professional actors Andrey Shchetinin and Aleksey Neymyshev, which gained the FIPRESCI Prize and was nominated for the Palme d`Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thoughful and iconic movie, 17 Jun 2010
This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
I brought it long time ago but it still delivers the strong message: the love-sharing between human without any borders. Director sends quite a graphical image through the sensitive issue of a man who lost his wife and trying to protect his beloved son so much to cause others a misunderstanding. Despite the fact of controversy of forbidden social code, rising above is a freedom of love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Power Beyond Words, 15 Dec 2011
By 
P. Aj Smith "book 1984" (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
At a time when Cinema seems driven by genre, market placement, and GMTV accessability, this film is an inimitable alternative. It has a leisurely, reflective pace, the intimacy and sensuality of the scenes gives it the feel of a tone poem. The previous reviews, already submitted, eloquently describe the uniqueness of this viewing experience. The director when interviewed was outraged that people saw this as a homoerotic movie, as has been stated homosexuality is seen negatively in Russian society, especially under Putin. This film is testament to the fact some films take on a life of their own once released, not least as many view it as a homoerotic love letter . It is open to so many interpretations, it leaves you that personal space as a viewer to respond individualy. What a refreshing change to the manipulative, formulaic dross of most commercial Cinema.
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13 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yaaawwwnnnn ..., 30 Jan 2006
By 
J. A. Garlick "jeremyanddasha" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Father And Son [DVD] (DVD)
This is a unique film. It is the only film I have ever seen that I was unable to understand from beginning to end. The intensely homoerotic father/son relationship leaves you cold because it has no context in time or space. Yes, it's left intentionally floaty and dreamlike, but this gives nothing for the viewer to hold on to. There are endless scenes of the pair staring into each other's eyes, fondling each other's necks, wandering rooftops uttering deep, empty phrases, etc. - but if you are looking for some kind of concrete meaning (hey, I'm a down-to-earth, solid kind of guy myself) then you're out of luck.
Avoid, unless you like drifting in the clouds of homosexual fantasy.
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Father And Son [DVD]
Father And Son [DVD] by Alexander Sokurov (DVD - 2004)
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